As your graduation day gets closer, you might be too busy studying for final exams, completing term papers or preparing for the graduation festivities to focus on your upcoming job search. Therefore, it's important to start preparing for life as a full-time job seeker at least a few months before your graduation day. Here are four things you should do before graduating to boost your job search efforts.
1. Complete Your LinkedIn Profile
Having a LinkedIn profile that's 100 percent complete greatly increases your chances of standing out among others in your industry and connecting with employers during your job search. A LinkedIn profile is complete when it contains your career summary, education details, job information and contact details. Make sure the information you provide is current and free of typos or grammatical errors. It's also essential to ensure the information matches the details on your resume and cover letter. Upload a professional photo of yourself, and update your profile regularly to maintain a 100 percent complete score.
2. Clean Up All Social Media Accounts
In 2017, it's common for job recruiters to review social media accounts to find out more about candidates. Therefore, it might be time to remove those Facebook or Instagram photos of you and your college friends chugging beer from a keg or skinny dipping at the lake. It's also essential to delete any comments you made that contain profanity or language others might deem offensive. Social media accounts don't have to be professional, but they should paint you in a positive light. Keep your social media pages basic, and if you must post photos, choose images of yourself spending time with family members, attending professional events or enjoying nature.
3. Gather References
Before your graduation day, gather references from as many professionals as possible. Ask your favorite professors if it's okay to use them as a reference. If you work or volunteer for a specific department at your school, ask your supervisor for a job recommendation letter. Speak to leaders of organizations you joined or assisted throughout your college years, and ask them for letters of recommendation. You likely interacted and worked with many professionals while attending college, so use this to your advantage.
4. Join Industry-Related Groups
It's important to know people in your industry, as they can give you job search tips, inform you of upcoming networking events and provide job leads. Before your graduation day, join a few industry-related groups, and attend functions regularly. You can also become an active participant in online groups and regularly engage with professionals on industry-related blogs and forums.
Don't wait until your graduation day is right around the corner to start preparing for your job search. Start connecting with others in your industry as early as possible, and make sure your online profiles paint you in a professional light. Have your references ready to present to potential employers, and continuously network before and after your graduation day to ensure your time as a job seeker is productive and beneficial to your career.
Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net